.’. London’s Roman Basilica and Forum .’.

Originally built in AD70 and then expended in AD90 – 120, London’s Roman basilica was a building unlike any other in Britain. Occupying nearly 2 hectares of land and standing at a height of up to 3 storeys high, this building was larger than the present day St Paul’s Cathedral!

The basilica acted a civic centre and housed city administrators, law courts, an assembly hall, the treasury and shrines. At its height it was also the largest building of its type north of the Alps, showing the importance of London within the Roman Empire.

The basilica also formed one side of a forum, a huge open-air square that acted as a public meeting place (similar to modern day Trafalgar Square) and housed many shops and market stalls. The forum was also a popular place for socialising and partying in Roman London!

Throughout the 2nd and 3rd centuries, numerous structural faults were identified with the buildings and a series of repairs and modifications were carried out. However, the nail in the coffin didn’t come until AD300, when both the basilica and forum were destroyed by Rome as a punishment for London supporting the rogue emperor Carausius.

Although small portions of the forum may have survived, the majority of the basilica and forum were lost into the annals of history until the construction of Leadenhall Market in the 1880s. During this building work, a large support was found which would have acted as the base of an arch in one of the basilica’s arcades. Today, these remains are housed in the basement of a barber’s shop at the corner of Gracechurch Street and Leadenhall Market.

The receptionist of the Barber’s is lovely and let me go down to have a look at tge remains myself.

Absolutely amazing part of London’s history.

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.’. T. Sampson – Euston Road N.W .’.

This BEAUTY was one of my birthday presents this year. I have NO idea what I will do with it but IT IS MINE. 

It scares me that since I got it all I can think about is: WHEN WILL I GET THE NEXT?

I love Coal Holes and I can’t deny that it is amazing to have a piece of London’s history just mine.

.’. Major General Thomas Harrison .’.

He was the first of the signatories of Charles I’s Death Warrant to be executed.

​Tied to a sledge he was pulled from Newgate Prison to Charing Cross. On ascending the scaffold, he refused to repent.

He was hanged with a short drop, once his body had stopped thrashing about he was cut down, and as he regained consciousness his shirt was pulled away.

The executioner then cut of his genitals, which were shown to him, then thrown into a bucket. He was held down while a red-hot metal was forced into his stomach.
While his innards were being burned in front of him, Harrison swung a punch and caught the executioner off-guard.

The embarrassed executioner lost his temper and killed Harrison.

Harrison’s head was severed, his heart cut out, and his body cut into four pieces.

.’. Chimney .’.

Tower Bridge is full of hidden secrets, one of them is this lovely Chimney. 

At first glance it just looks like one of the blue lamp posts along the Bridge, but this is a chimney connected to a room below that was once used by the Royal Fusiliers protecting the Tower of London. 

To keep them warm they used the fireplace inside the guards room during their stay while protecting the Tower. 

London Clean Air Act came into force on 1956 after the Great Smog of 1952…and with that many Chimneys lost their use as only smokeless fuel was aloud in urban areas. 

.’. Echoes Across the Century .’.

There is this exhibition at Guildhall Art Gallery that explores personal stories of those involved in the First World War. 

I saw the exhibition a few times this week as I work there. I saw many exhibitions in my many years of working at Museums and Galleries but this one piece in this exhibition made my heart sink, made me think, made me cry alone at the Gallery, made me want to know this people, made me want to go home and hold the ones I love forever.

Collection of Tears by Jessie Ellman created in 1917 after the death of Lt. W.G. Hicks.

Bellow some of the sayings…

  • When we stood beneath the stars.
  • The kiss by the church.
  • Thinking of the day you asked me to marry.
  • I shall miss you so much.
  • Your last message of love 
  • The day I first saw you in uniform and realised it was real.
  • The day you left for France.
  • Everyday when I was afraid for you and had no news.
  • Dreams of our wedding day and our love.
  • The dead of all my hoped and dreams.
  • When they said they had news of you, and you had died. 3rd July 1917.

.’. The Mercers’ Maiden – Corbet Court .’.

The Mercers’ Maiden is the symbol and the coat of arms of the Company.

She first appears on a seal in 1425. Her precise origins are unknown, and there is no written evidence as to why she was chosen as the Company’s emblem.

She always adorns the exterior walls of buildings on sites that belongs to the company.

 The one here is the earliest surviving Maiden property mark dating from 1669. It was reinstated on this site during redevelopment in 2004. 

You can find the map of all of them HERE and have some fun finding then.

.’. Cousin Lane Drinking Fountain .’.

In an attempt to improve the water quality in London the Metropolis Water Act of 1852 made a “provision for securing the supply to Londo  of pure and wholesome water”.

Around the same time the “Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association” was formed. The only agency fir providing free supplies of water for man and beast in the streets of London.